Featured Expert - Elderberry Syrup for Spring Wellness
Spring starts in March, and the transition from winter to spring can be a difficult one if you aren't prepared - especially if you have autoimmune disease and other health concerns.
Going from cold and flu season to seasonal allergies, you may just not be able to avoid the congestion, runny nose, itchy and irritated eyes. Spring is beautiful, and we all enjoy Mother Nature and the beautiful flowers and plants around us. If we can just enjoy this beauty without having to dose up on so much medication...
Well, may we could! There are quite a few natural remedies that you can try. If you didn't know this but our allergy relief balm (soon to be "breathe easy balm") helps open up airways. Today, I want to talk more about other natural remedies like elderberry syrup. This interview of Meg Lowery is about elderberry syrup for your overall wellness.
Meg is the founder and owner of Honest Elderberry Co., which originated after her daughter's middle name, Honesty. Her hope and mission is to instill into her daughter that one of the most honorable things is to build a life on integrity and that begins with honesty. Her company is no different - it is built on that foundation of integrity through ingredients and the entire process.
What is elderberry syrup and why is it so good for you?
Elderberry syrup is an all natural immune support that’s created with an intentional selection of spices and fruit(s) that each bring a powerful punch. It is something that has been used for centuries to treat the common cold, flu and even seasonal allergies (amongst a handful of other benefits). As a matter of fact, elderberry was used in 1995 to treat a flu epidemic in Panama! Word of mouth stateside is giving this old age remedy a lot of attention lately. This is because it works! And, comes with very minimal, if any, side effects! A daily dose is used as an all natural immune support while helping keep viral illnesses at bay and from getting too severe. During illness, it can be used as means to support the body in its healing process to shorten the severity of symptoms and duration by taking every few hours. Elderberry syrup has also been known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial properties. It has also been known to help stabilize blood sugar and lower cholesterol in some patients.
It’s important to know that not all elderberry syrup is created equal. Each have their own set of ingredients, sourcing and recipes. So, it is always important to know exactly where your Elderberry Syrup is coming from and how/where it is being produced. I also recommend steering away from shelf stable elderberry syrup when at all possible - these, most times, have added sugar, alcohol, preservatives or have been heat sealed (which turn the honey into a caramelized sugar, depleted of nutrients, that is harmful to blood sugar levels). To clarify, when I say shelf stable, referring to one that is able to sit on the counter outside of the refrigerator for months on end. Some things are ok shelf stable but elderberry syrup is one that is best refrigerated to preserve its freshness and quality.
The seasons are about to change and transition into spring soon - How is your elderberry syrup good for seasonal allergies?
Seasons are going to change soon! We use a raw, unpasteurized, local honey from NC & SC, so you get the benefits of both areas! It is said that consuming raw, local honey can help alleviate and lessen severity in seasonal allergies by your immune system getting familiar with the local pollen overtime by ingesting it. My husband is a testimony to this! He has severe seasonal allergies but since taking Honest Elderberry daily for the last few years, he hasn't had a flare up or had to take any allergy meds! When he feels something coming up, he will up his dose through out the day. Elderberry is an anti-inflammatory so it also helps with allergies by reducing inflammation in the sinus membranes. I have a regular customer from Ohio that swears by Honest Elderberry and the effectiveness in treating her allergies! It's pretty amazing!
What about right now? People are still getting sick with colds, the flu, and other illnesses. Can elderberry syrup help? And with anything else?
I briefly covered this earlier regarding daily dose for general immune support and keeping viral illnesses at bay as well as combating illness once sick. But it reminds me, I have a customer that uses our elderberry syrup strictly for their arthritis! After a week of taking Honest Elderberry for the first time, they were able to bend their knee all the way back and haven't been able to do that in years! Yay, anti-inflammatory!
It's really incredible what Mother Nature can do for us! Now, do you know if there are folks who shouldn't take elderberry syrup? I've heard that those with autoimmune diseases should consult with a healthcare provider or physician before taking it.
This is really a grey area here and elderberry syrup is very broad being that there are so many different recipes and different ingredients used that vary from one product to the next. Each person is so different and their genetic setup varies, so there is nothing that is a one size fits all. I know someone with Fibromyalgia and under the care of their doctor has stopped taken their meds and now solely takes elderberry syrup for their inflammation - but each person is different and should always consult with their healthcare provider before adding any dietary supplement into their regimen.
Meg, why did you start making your own elderberry syrup
Through my own health concerns, I was taken down a path of a whole lifestyle change from the inside out. How i care for myself and my family was one of them. I believe there are so many resources provided by mother earth that truly can help heal when used correctly. By changing what i eat and how i care for myself, it has made a world of difference in my quality of life. Elderberry Syrup was a remedy i came across in my journey years ago. I am huge on ingredients and love to cook. What was in the market at that time did not meet my standards so i set out to create my own recipe using FRESH organic elderberries and added FRESH organic Aronia berries for an extra level of antioxidant support. It has made the world of difference, too! I took elderberry syrup throughout my whole pregnancy with my daughter and didn't get sick once, this was a game changer!
What's unique about Honest Elderberry Co.? Is your elderberry syrup different from other brands?
We use fresh berries in our syrup vs dried and we do not use any powdered ingredients - hence why you will not find a lot of sediment in our product. Our standard of quality believes whole and fresh, when possible, ingredients are best! We also use NC and SC honey that will NEVER be heated so it will have all of its beneficial and healing enzymes in tact! Additionally, we donate a portion of each bottle sold to a local nonprofit that supports at rick youth by kids club programming and combats food insecurity through a food pantry. Giving back is at the heart of what we do, so we are always looking for ways to do so in our community in more ways that one!
How much of your syrup should people generally take?
Instructions are on our labels! But for general immune support, 1tbsp/day for adults and 1tsp a day for children over one. During illness, can take every few hours until symptoms subside!
Is there a difference between making elderberry syrup from dried elderberries vs. actual organic elderberries? Any health benefits? Does is taste different?
There is a huge difference in taste and quality! We believe fresh organic berries hold their most nutritional content because they have not undergone any type of dehydrating or processing. The taste is much more smoother - well, at least, i think so! :) I'm a firm believer in fresh, whole ingredients and our products will always reflect that!
I just have to ask a quick side note, in case people reading this are wondering - Are unriped or uncooked elderberries okay to eat?
This is another grey area. We participate in the Old Town Farmers Market in Rock Hill and have had SO MANY folks from an older generation come up to us and tell their stories of picking elderberries wild and eating them all the time. But if you read online, you can find conflicting information. If anything, just like eating too many grapes, elderberries may enhance an upset stomach to those with sensitive bellies. To be safe when in doubt, it's always best to fully cook the elderberries.
Some of my friends have told me that not only do they love your elderberry syrup, they also LOVE that you offer a 40 oz bottle option! Can you also tell me a little more about your packaging?
Yay! I love to hear how much folks are loving our elderberry syrup! We've spent SO MUCH time crafting and researching and so much trial and error to get where we are today - so THANK YOU! We have been very intentional about our bottle choice which comes with a higher quality glass that is pretty durable and can withstand a drop. Seriously, I have had hundreds of bottles of elderberry pass through my hands and have dropped a couple and have yet had one to break!! Now, i'm not saying they won't ever break, because they are glass, but they are very durable! I had a gentleman drop a 40oz on cement once and, to our surprise, it did not break! These bottles do cost a little bit more, but we think the quality is worth it! Our bottles also have a customized longer neck so you do not need an extra accessory to prevent spillage! Whoohoo!
Can you tell us a little about your mission? I'd love to hear more about Elderberry on Mission!
Giving back is SO important to us! I've gone through some really hard times and, each time, the Lord sent people my way to help me. In all i do, i want to make sure i give back whether it's time, monetary, product or support! We currently donate a portion of each bottle sold back to a local nonprofit that supports at risk youth through a kids club program and combats food insecurity through a food pantry. We also partner with other organizations from time to time when we can and this is based on sales! We also give free bottles of elderberry syrup away when we see a need whether it's to a foster family or single mama and all of this is done so through YOUR support and purchase of Honest Elderberry!
Okay last question. Any fun ways of incorporating elderberry syrup into foods/drinks? For those people who get bored of drinking it straight and want creative recipes.
I LOVE making an elderberry mocktail with organic 2oz pineapple juice, 4oz ginger beer and 1.5oz Honest Elderberry syrup - SO GOOD!
Thank you so much for answering my questions! Before we part, where can people find you and learn more about the great work you are doing?Follow us on Instagram and Facebook! You can also email me at email@example.com.
Well you know I'm going to have to ask this. What is your favorite Roses and Azalea product that you've personally tried and how has it helped you?
I love the dark hair dry shampoo! I haven't used dry shampoo in forever due to all the harmful ingredients, but came across Roses and Azalea's dry shampoo for dark hair and can use with confidence in the ingredients!
Well, thanks so much for reading through this topic of self-love today. We truly hope that if you are feeling a little stuck, this will move you in a positive direction. Chrystal and I both are sending all of you much love and positive vibes no matter what.
If any of this resonate with you and you're really wanting a little more guidance, make sure you contact Chrystal! Even if it is that first step of listening to her podcast or signing up for her newsletter, it all matters.
"Where there is great love, there are always wishes." Well, I am sending over so much love to you from Charlotte, NC. May all your wishes come true, beautiful❣
Meg Lowery is a Carolinas artisan who makes elderberry syrup and founded Honest Elderberry Co. Through her own health concerns/struggles and her life journey, she was given the opportunity to impact other people's lives through her business. Honest Elderberry Co. promises to use the best, organic ingredients sourced directly from farms. She strives to give optimal quality to support the families around her and takes much intentional time creating her products - studying and sourcing quality ingredients and resources so consumers wouldn't have to.